Yes, I’m Gone to Connecticut in My Mind

My opinion of myself and what is best for me always changes. It changes based on new revelations I have within myself but most often it changes due to influences from people around me. This is probably that one defining character flaw that would lead to my demise if I was a Greek goddess in a mythology tale. I can never seem to trust my own instincts until it is too late.

I need to transfer. Financially, it makes sense. I need to go back to Connecticut and get an undergraduate degree at the best college for the lowest amount I can. I have been denying myself the right to say “need” instead of “should.” This is where I will consciously recognize that I need to transfer. This is my record.

Watch this movie clip if you want to understand the next few paragraphs.
I have been tearing myself up about this since the day I stepped foot on campus. But I knew it as soon as I boarded the airplane for Washington, D.C. I got the exact feeling that I felt when I was a little girl watching What a Girl Wants, when Daphne leaves a voicemail for her mother to listen to while she leaves the country to find her dad. I have always wanted to feel that feeling, the complete serenity in my head and heart that I know I’m doing the right thing, even if it seems hard and like I’m breaking a lot of rules.

As I type this in my bed, rewatching this scene over and over again, there is a reason five-year-old me loved this movie so much and this specific scene. I used to rewind it and watch it until my mother got tired of it and told me to cut it out. I would like to thank my younger self for drilling into my head that I should always follow my heart and my instincts. Even if I don’t remember to most of the time, whenever I get the feeling that I do when Daphne leaves Manhattan, I know that whatever I decided was right for me.

Going to school in D.C. eventually is going to be one of the biggest goals I have ever set for myself. And I intend to accomplish it. Not in my undergraduate years, but in my graduate years. Someday I will sign a lease for an apartment on some street that begins and ends with a letter of the alphabet or the name of a state. And I’m going to sit there and be thankful that eighteen-year-old me had the guts to go against my outside influences and follow what I know is right for me and me alone.

I don’t regret coming here and figuring out all there it is to figure out. I learned how to live with multiple personalities under one roof, three separate times. I learned what I don’t want and what I do want. These two semesters, even as this one continues, just keep changing me into the adult I will eventually fully become.

I would like to thank two of my good friends here in Vermont for reminding me that this isn’t just me. UVM’s retainment rate is pretty low. I’m still going to be dramatic and upset over this decision, just because this is who I am, but I’m not alone.

For Being Dramatic About Transferring

…(because there is a playlist for everything)

Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson                          For the First Time – The Script

I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross                       Butterfly Fly Away – Miley Cyrus

Landslide (Live) – Fleetwood Mac               Carolina in My Mind – James Taylor

Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks                My Eyes – The Lumineers

Out of Place – Gavin Thorpe                          I’m Like a Bird – Nelly Furtado

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield                So Yesterday – Hilary Duff

New Semester Resolutions: Update

Almost a month ago, I outlined specific goals for the semester. Now that it’s underway and I’ve figured out my schedule, I want to share how I’ve accomplished these.

  1. Limit use of social media/your phone in general. This one was hard, but I definitely have spent less time on my phone/social media. This is in part to me actually enjoying my classes and also due to my effort to walk to classes and eat meals with friends, excluding the “need” for my phone.
  2. Don’t freak out when something goes wrong. I am trying not to freak out over the fact that I’m virtually unemployed right now!!! It’s been difficult but I’m putting in my best effort to finding a job. Overall, I’ve been more open to learning from my mistakes and embracing challenges now that I know how college works.
  3. Become more flexible about eating. Because I moved out of a dorm with a campus grocery store in the basement, I haven’t been super motivated to brave the cold and get a snack. I asked my parents to buy me healthy snacks before I moved in and now I’m stocked up on nuts, oatmeal, chips and guac. I still eat a lot, I honestly don’t think I ever won’t, but I’m more flexible about when I eat. Also, having meal points again helps (I spent them all by October last year.. yikes).
  4. Become more flexible about your appearance. This one was simple. I made it a part of my routine to pick out an outfit the night before. I missed doing that a lot!
  5. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. I can’t even really speak about this one, because I have $12.33 in my bank account and it’s not even because I bought things I don’t need. The only thing I’ve bought at school was tickets to see Mac Demarco, and that was a necessity.
  6. Leave parties if they aren’t fun. I’ve been doing this. It’s not fun to walk home by yourself and get cat called but sometimes you’ve gotta do it. And I keep Ben and Jerry’s in my freezer just for this occasion.
  7. Interact with your professors regularly. I haven’t interacted with my professors a whole lot, I definitely need to step up my game with that. But I have been raising my hand in class often so that’s a step.
  8. Find a routine that works and stick to it. Routine has always bored me, I don’t get why this was one of my goals. Fuck routines. But my general routine for my MWF classes is getting up at 8:15, showering, eating breakfast with friends, and class. My T-Th schedule is getting up at 8:45, showering, eating breakfast by myself and doing work, and class. Getting up at those times has been good. It’s not too early or late. Honestly if I wake up past 9 I feel like a deadbeat.

I hope this life update was mildly interesting, and that some of this resonated with whoever reads this blog.

The Girl Who Falls Asleep Last at the Sleepover

Every time I come home I’m on edge. I have trouble concentrating and barely eat and basically just sit in my room trying to distract myself from reality. I always attributed this to my discomfort at school, and over break I got to forget about school and basically pretended it was just another Christmas break during high school since all of my friends were home.

Now I understand why.

I came home last night and my little sister and I talked for hours sitting on the couch in my room. She hugged me really tight and told me that she missed me so much, and she is sad that she can’t come into my room and talk to me about anything when I’m gone. I haven’t cried a lot since I used to call my parents in tears last semester, but that made me cry a lot. I hate not being there for her. I can see that she’s going through the same tough middle school experiences that I had and it breaks my heart that I can’t physically be there to support her.

She slept over in my bed tonight and we watched 10 Things I Hate About You. It was her first time seeing it. I thought of the first time I watched it during my sophomore year by myself in my room. I discovered a lot of things that way, like Freaks and Geeks, Clueless, Almost Famous, Perks of Being a Wallflower, the list is endless. I can always transport back to the exact moment, remember the position of the furniture in my bedroom right down to the posters and tapestries, and what boy I was pining over at the time. I feel like when I’m home I never really left, and when I watch these movies again and hear the stories it’s like I never really left that moment.

Every time I come home I’m on edge because everything is different, but everything is so very much the same. I can drive by Maggie’s house, but she won’t be in it. I can find the key in the hidden spot on her front porch and go inside, but she won’t be there watching movies or making dinosaur chicken nuggets. I can sit in the parking lot of the old Morgan and watch traffic go by but never get in another traffic jam at 2:13 whipping out of the parking lot. I can lay in my bed on a winter afternoon and watch the hours tick by but Michael won’t be coming over with homework to do or a town meeting to attend.

Will everything feel that wonderful again? Or will I keep having to avoid the old Taylor Swift songs, the sad ones, that make me cry because I know my childhood is over? I just want everyone to come home and make everything the way it was again. A senior in high school I work with always complains to me about how she is just SO ready for college, and yes, college is great, but there is so much that I gave up to get there. I feel like I traded in the great parts of my life for smaller moments of joy that come less often. Freedom comes at the cost of comfort, security, and deep connection. I don’t know if anyone’s truly my friend if they haven’t come over and lied in my bed at 2 p.m. on a Sunday watching movies. My teachers don’t know my entire family, let alone my aspirations in life or what I eat for breakfast every morning. All of my teachers always knew that.

Wasn’t it easier in your lunchbox days / Always a bigger bed to crawl into / Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything / And everybody believed in you?

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room / Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home / Remember the footsteps, remember the words said / And all your little brother’s favorite songs / I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

I hope someday I become like everyone else and forget about all of this, because it hurts to be the only one who cares. It hurts to look at my wall of a thousand memories and realize that I don’t know what my friends are up to all the time. I can’t ride my bike to Riley’s and I can’t drive by Saldamarco’s and see if her car is in the parking lot. We’ve all moved on. Some of us in mind, body, and spirit. I know it’s not cool to not have moved on, but I haven’t. There is too much good here to forget about it so quickly.

I was never one of those kids who said they couldn’t wait for college anyway.

January Favorites

January was a crazy month. When I’m home I’m out doing things or working non stop, and on top of that I went to Florida and D.C. Safe to say I’m super broke, but I’m happy with everything in my life right now (besides being basically unemployed- but that will be fixed) since I moved into a HUGE and beautiful dorm with two really nice girls in a great spot on campus. I finally can breathe and feel comfortable at UVM. I love my classes, my new friends, and the future I’m beginning to envision here in Vermont.

for your eyes

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara- One of the most natural looking and smooth mascaras I have ever used. I don’t regret splurging on it at all, and usually I hate buying expensive mascaras. I highly highly highly recommend buying it.

Hidden Figures- I saw this movie and it was an emotional rollercoaster. First of all, their office outfits were beautiful and I wish I had a closet full of them. But most importantly I have never seen women, especially black women, portrayed as being good at mathematics and science so this was so cool. It reminded me that women can do anything, and sometimes even I need that reminder.

Kamala Harris’ Women’s March speech- All I can say is Kamala Harris 2020 (if California doesn’t secede).

My room- The year anniversary of my yellow room passed a few months ago and over that time I have acquired quite a bit of decorative photos, mementos, stickers, and general knickknacks. I love how it looks especially in the transition from afternoon light to golden hour.

Age of Adaline- I took a relaxing bath and watched this over break. I love Blake Lively and I love pretty much everything she does.

for your ears

Dance Yrself Clean – One of my friends at school showed me this song, and while I always knew it was a classic LCD song, I just had never listened to it. It’s a masterpiece.

Shake – A roadtrip favorite.

Where the Skies are Blue – I didn’t know their new album had bonus tracks! This one is also a roadtrip favorite. It’s more country than any of their other songs, and country has been growing on me honestly.

All We Know (Oliver Heldens Remix) – I didn’t think it was possible for me to like this song more than I did, but this remix is flawless. The Chainsmokers know what they’re doing and ALL OF THEIR SONGS ARE SO GOOD REMIXED.

No Advance – I’m late to the 21 Savage party but now he’s one of my most played Spotify artists.

T-Shirt – I haven’t listened to the entirety of Migos’ new album yet but I really like this single. Also, Soulja Boy’s diss track is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

Someone That Loves You – I am wholeheartedly obsessed with this song. I reposted a remix of this song a few months back but who knew the actual song was absolutely amazing. I seriously cannot stop listening to it. It makes me so happy.

Everywhere – If I can describe this song in an experience, I imagine it’s moving to 1980s corporate Midtown and walking down the street in a tartan suit, watching a flock of pigeons fly away in different directions when you walk through central park on your lunch break. Except you’re completely elated and it’s late fall.

Love Is Alive – Louis the Child has been killing it with new releases and I’ve always been a huge fan of their remixes (my favorite one is right here, but a close second is here). They’re coming to Burlington the Friday before spring break and I hope I can go.

NEW MAC DEMARCO SONGS (x, x) – I didn’t even know Mac was dropping music today, but he did and I am LOVING IT. I can’t wait to see him in May!!!!

everything else

Flavored Cream Cheese- I recently came to the decision that bagels are my new favorite food (it was cavatelle pasta and my mom’s sauce for years) so I have been experimenting whenever I go to bagel shops and at my dining halls. So far my favorites include strawberry on cinnamon crunch, and honey cinnamon on plain.

Sweetgreen bread- I went to Sweetgreen for the first time in D.C. and their bread is actually some of the best I’ve ever had, which is weird for a salad chain restaurant.

Hats- I used to think I looked so bad in hats, but I think I was just psyching myself out. I love wearing them now, especially when I wake up late and can’t afford to shower.

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Jack Rogers- Going to Florida reminded me how much I miss wearing my Jacks every day. A lot of people complain that they’re super uncomfortable but I literally do not understand. They fit my feet perfectly and look cute with everything I wear. One of the best investments I’ve ever made.

Individual Milano cookies- At Walmart, they sell individual snack packs that include 2 dark chocolate Milano cookies. They stop me from eating an entire bag and they’ve lasted me a super long time. They curb my constant craving for chocolate.

Wisconsin Ave & M Street

My heart is truly pulled in two directions.

img_6525Going to Georgetown again (and just to clarify, I mean the neighborhood, and not the school) made me fall in love with it all over again. Seeing it in the crystal blue mornings of early September, when it was still hot enough for me to wear shorts and a shell shirt, and I ate the ice cubes in my coffee to quell my thirst, I knew it was something special to me. It was hot, and everything was bursting with life and pretty women in dresses with dogs and farmer’s markets. I spent the better part of that Saturday just walking around by myself trying to understand why I felt so comfortable and elated there.

Georgetown in the Late Summer

Foreign Lovers – Ra Ra Riot                   10,000 Emerald Pools – Borns

Can You Tell – Ra Ra Riot                        Dissolve Me – alt-J

Bryn – Vampire Weekend                         Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club

No No No – Beirut                                       Young Lion – Vampire Weekend

Shake Shake Shake – Bronze Radio Return     Blue Boy – Mac Demarco

The reason why I’m so shook about Georgetown: when I am walking around, in my head I hear these songs. And I consider these artists or songs to be at the core of my being. Every time I hear them, I feel how I feel when I am feeling most myself. I feel an inexplicable warmness in my heart and all of my worries scraped out of my mind. I feel warm sunshine and a cool breeze and a good hair day. I look at the brick and mortar of Georgetown and know that I am in the right place.

Georgetown in Mid-Winter

Love is Blind (Sam Gellaitry Remix) – Lapsley      Sweet n Sour – Waterbed

Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsytem                   Love Lust – King Charles

Gold (Moon Boots Remix) – Bondax                        Gibraltar – Beirut

Good Old Fashioned Nightmare – Matt & Kim     The Glory – Kanye West

A Game – Ski Lodge                                                       Perth – Beirut

img_6524I think of how I felt in sixth grade when I visited Philadelphia. Surrounded by my classmates, I started to cry as we walked into the Independence National Historical Park. All anyone cared about was whether their mom chaperone would stop to get authentic Philly cheese steaks or not, but, clutching my copy of the Declaration of Independence to my heart, I hesitantly grazed the Liberty Bell, a gasp uttering under my breath as I retracted my hand. A guard was smiling at me from the corner. I smiled sheepishly and held back tears of fright.

I think of how I felt when I was fifteen and roamed around Provincetown with my best friend. We thought we were so grown-up, walking around by ourselves. I took a million pictures of the ocean and the old boats and the lobster roll shacks. I flipped through maps of the Cape, outlining the best places to go clamming and the best restaurants for oysters (Wellfleet, obviously). I remember sitting in the library, climbing all over the boat built into the second floor like a child, watching the rain flow down the battered red, white, and blue flags.

I think of how I felt when I was a senior in high school and my humanities teacher took us on an April tour of New Haven and Yale architecture with this man who has written three or four lengthy books on the topic, and even proposed to his wife on top of the Harkness tower (if that’s not me…). Walking past the old churches in the damp, cold heat, we strolled through the Yale old campus and I listened to snippets of Mr. Serenbetz’ conversations with other students. The day ended with the museum and Rothko and a breezy bus ride back to school.

I get these feelings in the gentrified portions of Brooklyn, in the commercialism of Newbury Street, and the streets paving the way to the Met on the Upper East Side. I feel it in the way my heart fills listening to I Just Wanna Be Somebody Else, thinking of grilled cheeses and New Haven. But nothing will every truly match how I feel in Georgetown. Writing this now and listening to Vampire Weekend’s first album in the clattering chaos of my dining hall, I can dream. I do like it here. I love the mountains and the trees and Church Street. I love my friends and wearing snow boots and Ben and Jerry’s. But a huge part of me wishes I was in Georgetown. Realistically, right now I couldn’t get into the undergraduate program at Georgetown University, let alone afford it.

Every time I hear a chord of a Vampire Weekend song or look at the M5 filter on VSCO or sit for hours at a cafe in Burlington looking out at the mountains and Lake Champlain, I’ll get the feeling. And I’ll remember that soon I will feel that all again, by way of a bus, train, plane, or grad school.

The Women’s March on Washington

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Before the Women’s March was created, I had planned to go to D.C. for the inauguration services. Regardless of who won the presidency, I was slated to get to D.C. that Thursday and come home Sunday. Despite the fact I was pretty upset with the presidency, I still planned to go because it is history. The last time a candidate won the presidency but not the popular vote was George W. Bush in 2000, garnering one more electoral vote than Al Gore. Granted, the popular vote was much less divided than Clinton and Trump, but the fact that these events occurred within twenty years of each other is placing many faults in our electoral college system.

I’m going to spare you the debate on whether the electoral college is good or not: take a political science course and you’ll realize there are no easy answers. But I was interested to see what Trump’s inauguration would look like when the majority vote was pretty starkly won by Clinton. The pictures do not lie; honestly, on a regular sunny day at the National Mall, there could have easily been the same amount of tourists there. And the rhetoric that all of Trump’s supporters were “working” because they have “jobs” as opposed to liberals is flawed, but most of Trump’s supporters do come from places where accessibility to travel is limited. Most of the East Coast didn’t vote for Trump, whereas they could have easily shown for Obama in 2009 without breaking the bank. So I understand why Trump’s inauguration was not the fleshy turnout they expected; the silent majority had their reasons.

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The following day, I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and went down to cement my place in front of the stage. Getting there, I was about four blocks away from the stage. Large screens projecting the speakers and performers were erected in the middle of Jefferson Drive and everything was set into deep contrast against the white-gray D.C. fog. I had never seen this many people in my life. I had been in a packed 82,500 seat arena when I saw Coldplay, and in the midst of a gigantic tailgate at the Harvard-Yale game, but never in my life have I seen 500,000+ other people all in one concentrated place. The sheer number of people was so powerful that it made the voices of Angela Davis, the Five Mothers, Janet Mock, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, and every other woman speaking that much more intense. That much more empowering. I couldn’t believe that so many other human beings cared about the same things that me and my closest friends have been fighting and are willing to fight for.

A lot of people had ideas about what the march was supposed to be, and to put it simply, it was about intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism, as Kamala Harris indirectly pointed out, is about looking at each global issue and how it affects women of all backgrounds and abilities. Because yes, each global issue is also a men’s problem, and it is also a people problem. But as women we need to be aware of how each issue is directly affecting us. As a white woman, I want to encourage every other white woman to start caring about other women. In this country, we are stunted because of stigmas and unequal pay and gendered criticism, but these issues affect minority women and disabled women in a completely different way than they do to us. It is so much harder for them. And this march was important in reminding all women that there is a struggle, but the struggle is complex and different for everyone. And we need to fight for everyone. img_6645

Plane Playlist

I absolutely love flying. I love turbulence. I love the pit in your stomach when it happens because it feels like a rollercoaster. The only time I feel that pit in my stomach is on a plane, with the exception of one time when I rode the Hulk rollercoaster at Universal Studios in Orlando as the sun was setting. I love how you’re situated with a bunch of strangers who need to get to the same place you do for different reasons. It’s so interesting, because so many people see flying as a risk but it is something we often do alone.

Departure

The Moment – Tame Impala “And I can’t just spend my whole lifetime wondering / I fell in love with the sound of my heels on the wooden floor / I don’t want our footsteps to be silent anymore”

Tennis Court – Lorde “Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane / I’ll see the veins of my city like they do in space”

Super Rich Kids – Frank Ocean The beat of this song is enticing in a way that a lot of songs aren’t. It’s suspenseful and tells a subtle story between the descriptors.

Walking On a Dream – Empire of the Sun “We are always running for the thrill of it, thrill of it / Always pushing up the hill, searching for the thrill of it / On and on and on we are calling out and out again / Never looking down, I’m just in awe of what’s in front of me”

Resonance – Home One of the most magical songs in existence, if not the most magical.

Paper Planes – M.I.A. “Sometimes I think sitting on trains / Every stop I get to I’m clocking that game”

Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver “‘Cause I’m leaving, on a jet plane / Don’t know if I’ll be back again / Oh babe, I hate to go”

I Follow Rivers (The Magician Remix) – Lykke Li “You’re my river running high / Run deep, run wild”

Out of My League – Fitz & the Tantrums This is one of my all-time favorite songs and makes me happy no matter what. Listening to it while watching clouds fall below you on an airplane is bliss.

Arrival

Morocco – Moon Taxi “So sick and tired of the pouring rain / I took a train to Morocco just to take away the pain / Oh, it might help a little, it might help a lot / I don’t know but it’s all I got”

Flashing Lights – Kanye West “Like a flight with no Visa / First class with the seat back I still see ya”

A Head Full of Dreams – Coldplay “Oh, I think I’ve landed / In a world I haven’t seen” “Oh, I think I’ve landed / Where there are miracles at work”

Giving Up The Gun – Vampire Weekend “And though it’s been a long time / You’re right back where you started from” “I see you shine in your way / Go on, go on, go on”

Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix) – Two Door Cinema Club “Let’s make this happen, girl / You gotta show the world that something good can work / And it can work for you / And you know that it will / Let’s get this started, girl / We’re moving up, we’re moving up / It’s been a lot to change / But you will always get what you want”

Magnets (A-Trak Remix) – Lorde “I love this secret language that we’re speaking / Say it to me, let’s embrace the point of no return / Let’s embrace the point of no return / Let’s embrace the point of no return”

Champion – Kanye West, The Glory – Kanye West, Homecoming – Kanye West featuring Chris Martin Everything about the album Graduation is perfect, but these three besides Flashing Lights (above) are my favorites. I love listening to them when I travel because they’re fun and upbeat.

 

New Semester Resolutions

Tonight I will drive back to school. Hopefully I won’t cry at the Massachusetts border like I usually do. I could barely sleep last night, so maybe if I do cry it will be because of sleep deprivation. As much as I think New Years Resolutions are kind of pointless (at least, for me, because they’re more of intentions and I don’t like setting goals because I never accomplish them), I think that setting these intentions are important because I need to ground myself. Hopefully if you are a college student just getting back, or a high school student just ending midterms these inspire you too.

  1. Limit use of social media/your phone in general. This goes for when I’m studying, but when I’m out in public. I don’t want to use my phone in class, and I want to use my phone less on the bus. I feel constantly wrapped up in it when I should be interacting with others.
  2. Don’t freak out when something goes wrong. I am aware that I put my best effort into everything I do, and if I forget something along the way, it’s fine. I’m not perfect. Acknowledge your feelings and move on. Ask others for guidance or help if necessary.
  3. Become more flexible about eating. Between five classes, two jobs, and transfer applications, I’m going to have to become more flexible with my eating schedule. I have become reliant on consistent meals but I need to put that on the back burner as all of my responsibilities will be so demanding. Often I found myself unable to complete tasks unless I got my food, which made me procrastinate as I would spend hours at the dining hall on my phone (which will be prevented this time).
  4. Become more flexible about your appearance. There is simply not enough time in a day to pore over my closet and create an outfit. I either want to lay out an outfit the night before like I used to do in high school, or go outside in whatever I grab first. Of course, I should look presentable, but I want to be more functional and flexible when it comes to clothing choices and not put so much weight on what I’m wearing. I already wear nicer clothes than the average college student, so I’m good.
  5. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. Maina, you don’t need that new shirt. You don’t need that pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. You don’t need a bunch of new candles or books off of Amazon. I want to put more money into experiences rather than things this semester.
  6. Leave parties if they aren’t fun. If you’re dying of boredom at a party, and feel like you have to get drunk or high just to enjoy it, then LEAVE. Who cares what your friends say. Call that Uber, take that bus, make that walk. Try not to go alone, but go if you have to. Do a face mask, watch Shameless, and go to bed.
  7. Interact with your professors regularly. Don’t be that guy that introduces yourself to the professor when they couldn’t care less, but ask your questions after class. Email them for extra office hours. Talk with them about things other than the class material. Professors are people, too, and I bet they’ll laugh at your roommate stories.
  8. Find a routine that works and stick to it. I know I already got this going at the end of last semester, but with new classes and a new job, I need to figure out what is going to work. I want to go to the gym at least four times a week, if not more, and take showers without having to walk outside immediately after (in Vermont, your hair freezes into icicles after .2 seconds outside) as often as possible.

I have a good feeling about this semester, although I don’t want to jinx it. I’m excited for my classes. I’m excited for my spring break plans. I just need to translate that excitement into some other things and I’m good.

Siesta Key, Florida

“Do you remember when we ate summer like watermelon until it turned our cheeks pink? The ocean tangled its fingers through our hair and the sun painted our shoulders with brushstrokes of honey. At the end of the day, our skin smelled thick, like salt and sweat and home…” (x)

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I spent a week in Florida with my cousin and uncle, right on the beach. The second I got off the highway and onto the thin little island I jumped in the ocean, splashing around. Anyone who knows me well enough knows I love the ocean more than anything else on this planet. Siesta Key is on the Gulf Coast, and I had never swam in the Gulf. I saw sand dollars and dolphins and sharks and pelicans. I ate donuts and ice cream and everything smelled like real-life Bobbi Brown Beach perfume (which is my favorite). I don’t think I could ever live in Florida because the urban sprawl is horrendous and they act like they don’t care about their land at all with how much they develop it. Besides the ocean it is strip malls and university parks and hotels and resorts. It actually gave me a new appreciation for Vermont and, as always, made me love Connecticut even more.

Below is some writing I did when I was there and on the plane, and a playlist that I think encompasses the feeling of sunset more than anything else I have ever made.

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January 10, 2017 |

I don’t know how to write about sex. I don’t like writing about sex. I am still in the mindset that it’s dirty and shameful. I don’t know how to write about a female’s body. I don’t like writing about female bodies. I feel like I am objectifying myself on the brink of pointlessness because there are legions of other things to write about. Laying out half naked with nothing to do, burning layers of my skin so I can go home bronzed. Looking in the mirror when I get home, about to take a shower, my entire body tender except the stark white parts. It’s funny. What we keep quiet, what we hide from the world is so darkly contrasted from what we let the world see. You start to question if all of the guys who have seen the parts that don’t become sunburnt matter, and you start to question if other people think about this too. I thought about all the times I wanted to cry to my mom but I couldn’t because I don’t want to know what the look on her face would be if I told her. I thought about laying alone in my dark dorm room, Polina fast asleep, in my big t-shirts and dirty hair and messy thoughts. I wanted to cry to my mom, to anyone, to someone. I am so alone in this body, I am trapped beneath flaps of skin and courses of blood and I am not sure who I am. I think about the time my father called Jenny from Forrest Gump damaged goods. I don’t know how to write about sex. I don’t like writing about sex. But sometimes I can’t believe it.

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January 12, 2017 |

I love planes because you have no choice but to think about your destination. The plane takes off and a few words rush into your head, either “home” or “the beach” or “school” and certain emotions fill your heart. A sense of relief, terror, heartbreak, or just the opposite. As you listen to your liftoff songs and look at the moon, everything seems renewed and you leave behind who you were where you were and have the opportunity to become something completely different… I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel truly comfortable anywhere besides the northeast.

Impression

Summer Heart – I Wanna Go

Baby Bash – Suga Suga (Soysauce Remix)

Henry Green – Electric Feel (Gespleu Downcast Edit)

Ben Phipps – I Don’t Think So

ODESZA – White Lies feat. Jenni Potts (Filip Flip)

Meltycanon – Happy End

Jovani Occomy x Olmos – Electric Feel & Gooey

Arcade Fire x Flatbush Zombies – PalmTreesInTheSuburbs

Washed Out – It All Feels Right

Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix)

Libby Knowlton – Florida Kilos x Stay High

 

 

2016 Reflection

I’ve been reading a lot of posts that in one way or another reflect on the past year. My therapist also had me write a little bit about how this year went through some guided questions. But honestly, I feel the most effective way is going through month by month and digging up the experiences and lessons that challenged me or changed me.

In January, I started out with a lot of New Haven trips. It was midterm season and break. I painted a lot with my friends and burned a lot of candles. January’s are consistently filled with baths and movies and writing. For some reason I always feel super inspired. The break is rejuvenating, and it is especially more so now that I have a whole month. January brought me more of the heart of fencing season. Fencing season was an important part of me becoming obsessed with Connecticut.

February was interesting. All I can recall are awkward dates, my red peacoat, No More Parties in LA, really really cold bike rides, and a snowy trip to Boston. February increased my love of trains and public transportation. My favorite memory of February was probably visiting Hopkins’ campus outside of New Haven. They have the hands down best view of the skyline, and I’ve climbed East and West Rock. This is the month I realized I had no idea what I was doing when it came to college. My applications were sent in and I realized I had no interest in Cambridge. Or really anywhere I applied.

March was really the beginning of the end. It started to get increasingly warmer and I would lay in my bed with my skylights open, birds chirping, writing about how much I’m going to miss high school. I also became increasingly apathetic. And I wore sunglasses a lot. On St. Patrick’s Day I went to the Met for the first time and we also had the chicken hat during that trip. I also didn’t eat for two days during this month because I was being sad and dramatic about a boy breaking up with me. Mac Demarco got me through March.

April was Tame Impala’s Currents. That’s pretty much it. Also, the Lumineers’ new album. Ophelia to be exact. I committed to UVM in April. I bought a blue dress with pink flowers on it that I wore every day pretty much. This is also the month of the Vampire Weekend renaissance, and track. I also finished Gossip Girl, which was huge. This month was a lot of loopy handwriting and reading Gatsby in Humanities. I saw Bernie Sanders speak at a rally. It rained a lot.

May was just a lot of crying and sunshine at the same time. Also Change the World by Mac Demarco. Also, more Dairy Queen visits. I miss sitting at Dairy Queen for hours with my friends talking to the other kids who came in and roasting people. Everyone painted their lockers during school in May and the Senior Courtyard was filled with people again. Coloring Book came out. I remember crying riding the bus up route 79, sitting by myself listening to Blurryface on the way to my last track meet. I didn’t even like track too much but it was so sad. Rothko and increased beach days. The smell of my driver’s ed teacher’s car. My 18th birthday. Resonance.

June was a lot of the same. Changes. Lasts. Graduating. Getting spray tans for two proms. Muhammad Ali dying. Making mistakes. Seeing twenty one pilots and screaming my heart out. Getting emotional 24/7. Graduation parties. Perks. 10,000 Emerald Pools. There was a beautiful day during finals at Stony Creek that I spent with Wyatt and Michael. It was probably one of my favorite days of the year. It was also the day the wind was absolutely incredible, and we were getting blown away down at Lighthouse Point. I took some great photos that day. I was so happy. Late nights, last dinners, smiles and tears. Gilmore Girls. Rt. 222. Jesus Camp. So many amazing, happy memories.

July was sailing. I got insanely tan. I listened to Wagon Wheel a lot. I watched fireworks and went to weird coworker parties with my family. I took a trip to Bear Mountain with Catie. I went to great restaurants and had a lot of Cohen’s. Manhattanhenge. Getting what I want. I wore my first bitch outfit. First blog post about said relationship. SEEING COLDPLAY. I drove right after summer rain just before golden hour on route 80 to East Haven listening to PGHB. I almost cried at how perfect the moment was. Many, many grad parties. Blueberry Basil Lemonade. The Democratic Town Committee. Capsizing. Slow mornings. Late breakfasts. James Farmacy with Ella in our little corner. Do You Love Me.

August was rushed. August was filled with the pressure of ending summer with a bang. I was so nervous. I drove to Brooklyn and saw Beirut. I said goodbye to a lot of people. I figured out I really love applewood smoked gouda. I was the lead in a play and didn’t totally fuck it up. BIRI. My red dress and buying Jack Rogers. Riding bikes around the island with Ella, Wyatt, Brett and Michael was probably the best memory of that month. The town fireworks. Help Me Lose My Mind. Sailing. Misquamicut and Dave’s Coffee and talks with Kitty. I said goodbye and Brett sang to me in the car and it made me feel so much better. Leaving home was the saddest thing I ever had to do. I went to school and basically immediately bought a plane ticket to D.C.

September was a lot of trying. My new classes weren’t engaging. My professors were cold. It was so hot and I didn’t know what I was doing. I bought too many crepes. I spent way too much money in D.C. I cried on the plane home and when I touched down in Burlington. That’s when I knew things weren’t going to be that okay. I went to the farmer’s markets and watched Across the Universe a lot. I spent a lot of time eating overpriced snacks and watching Gilmore Girls.

October is when things started to go downhill. I got home the first time and felt frantic. I sailed in a regatta and cried driving away from the beach. I cried when we passed the Massachusetts border later in the day. Someone scratched “H2O lean same thing” into the bus window and I accidentally put beer in my coffee. It got super cold super fast and I bought a yellow jacket at Second Time Around. I got to experience Boston two weekends in a row. At the end of the month, I was done for.

November was the most uncomfortable experience of my life. My roommates hated me and I didn’t come home until 2 a.m. most nights because I didn’t want them to yell at me. I got a lot of stress pimples and realized I could not pass math. I became a recluse basically. I did make a few friends but I just really started to miss home. And then I went home after a weekend in Boston and realized I completely lost myself. Then I came back, wore turtlenecks, lipstick, and listened to Cigarettes After Sex.

December was better, filled with realizing things. First semester ended. I went to a few hockey games. I accepted what happened and moved on. I lived with Russian people and sold my clothes online. I suffered through school related depression and became addicted to mushrooms. I got in a car accident on the way home from school and my hands and feet literally froze. I worked, slept, wrote. Started my transfer applications.

2016 was probably the worst and best year of my life. It was filled with a lot of depression and sadness but so many happy things happened in the first half of the year that I can’t discount them. And my travels to Boston and D.C. first semester were positive experiences that got me away from my reality for weekends. I realized where my priorities lie this year, and worked towards them. I can say that I got what I wanted. Or at least I’m halfway there. My experiences this year are so valuable to who I am today that it’s incredible I’m not a completely different person. I have grown up and become more of who I was meant to be.